Concepts and prototypes : Range Stormer 2004
The Spritual successor to the 1970 Range Rover was revealed at the 2004 Detroit Motorshow…
Although not a part of the family now, it is impossible not to include the Range Stormer. Beguilingly handsome and with blue-chip credentials, it is certain that when this car enters production, it will be a huge success for Land Rover. Let’s hope that when it comes, it will be built at Solihull…
LAND Rover made history at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, by unveiling its first ever concept show car, the Range Stormer. The Range Stormer is a high performance, sports tourer SUV concept car, which showcases a future design direction for Land Rover. It also previews a new production model that will enter a fresh market segment for the company and will be an additional model line in the Land Rover portfolio.
Commenting on the new concept, Land Rover’s managing director Matthew Taylor, said: “The supercharged V8 Range Stormer gives a taste of our forthcoming new entrant in the booming high performance SUV segment. The production vehicle that follows will share many of its styling and technical innovations. It is very much conceived to be an on-road, performance machine, as well as class-leading off-road like all Land Rovers.” Stormer designer, Richard Woolley stated that “There are no plans to build the car, but I know that over 200 people have said they’d be ready to buy one irrespective of cost! The car is a pre-cursor of a new car from Land Rover late this year.”
Geoff Upex, design director at Land Rover, added: “The challenge was to translate fundamental Land Rover design values into a concept for a high performance machine that looks powerful, muscular and edgy. We certainly want to challenge established views of our vehicles, but the Range Stormer is still clearly an authentic Land Rover.”
Future technologies previewed with the concept include an all-new platform that will be the basis for future full-size Land Rover models. This advanced, integrated platform, unique to Land Rover, will provide the underpinnings for the production vehicle inspired by the Range Stormer. The trick doors were also a motorshow crowd pleaser as Woolley related: “As for the doors, yes, I wanted them to do a bit of ‘show-biz’ at Detroit, so came up with the idea of split ‘blade’ and ‘runner’ doors. They were operated by remote control for the show, as were the tailgate, and all the lighting functions.
Another major innovation showcased is Terrain Response. This smart and simple-to-use new Land Rover technology delivers the best possible on- and off-road composure and control by optimising the entire vehicle set-up, including suspension, powertrain, throttle response and traction control. The driver simply selects the appropriate Terrain Response setting from the six available and the vehicle does the rest, using technology that offers a choice of settings from ‘dynamic’ for high speed work to ‘deep ruts’ for extreme off-roading.
Matthew Taylor concluded: “You’ll be seeing an increasing amount of innovative technology in future Land Rovers. But technology that makes the driver’s task simpler not more complicated, such as Terrain Response.” The Range Stormer was completed with the support of suppliers Alps (electronic systems), Hella (interior and exterior lights), Alcoa (22″ forged alloy wheels) and Goodyear (custom made tyres).
Interestingly, the Stormer was a fully functional driver, as opposed to a static motorshow exhibit: “Concept is driveable, and powered (for expediency) by the good old Rover V8, in 4.2l guise. With its bespoke straight-through exhaust it sounds fantastic!”